Volunteer

More than 7,000 volunteers across the globe have given their time and skills to support students and research at the University of Birmingham.

Graduates and staff at an alumni event in the USAlumni, students and friends of the University are making an incredible impact on our communities, from inspiring students and supporting their career aspirations to contributing to groundbreaking research projects.

To get an idea how you could join in, take a look at our recent Volunteers of the Month. Whether you are currently based outside the UK, short on time or fairly new in your career, there is an opportunity to help others while building on your own experience. Below are four ways you can currently get involved.

1: Support students

Create opportunities: Offer work experience, an internship or a placement to a current Birmingham student

Work experience

Get short term help with a specific project you need support with. A student can join your organisation for up to 20 days at no cost to you, to get experience of employment and ‘get a feel’ for a specific professional field. 

Internships

Do you want to hire an intern? Internships are paid opportunities (at National Minimum Wage or above) for students to work on real-life projects, adding value to your business. They typically last between 4-12 weeks over the summer, although some students may seek part-time internships during term-time. We can advertise internships for free through our vacancy portal.

Placements

Placements are embedded within an academic course, and allow students to work on a specific project related to their degree. This typically takes place one day per week over the course of one or two academic terms. We are currently looking for placements for a range of degree programmes, from medicine to creative writing.

If you think you can help, please contact our Head of Volunteering Becky Mitchell at r.mitchell.1@bham.ac.uk or 0121 414 6682.

Share your expertise by mentoring a student

What do you know now that you wish you'd know earlier? Give an hour of your time each month to share your experience with a student pursuing a similar area of interest. 

Your expertise could help students prepare to find a job when they leave University, by reviewing CVs and applications, giving information and advice about their chosen career, helping them to identify potential careers, encouraging them to source work experience and internships and being a general source of support and guidance.

Ideally, you will be able to meet your student mentee at least once face-to-face during the scheme, but we have had successful mentoring partnerships with international mentors too. Mentoring can also take place by phone, email and Skype. The mentoring scheme runs each year from November until the following summer.

You do not have to have mentored before or reached the ‘top’ of your career to be able to be a mentor and we are also keen to hear from young alumni. You will only be matched to a student where relevant and we provide guidance and support on the mentoring process.

If you are interested in mentoring a student, please email alumni-volunteers@contacts.bham.ac.uk with a brief summary of your career area.

For information, visit the Careers Network Mentoring Scheme website.

Speak at a careers event or deliver a guest lecture

Students benefit enormously from hearing from alumni at various events on campus. They want to hear about your career, skills or specific industries outside academia, to inspire both undergraduate and postgraduate students to think about the options available to them. This can often be an informal talk or sometimes a more formal presentation.

To register your interest please email alumni-volunteers@contacts.bham.ac.uk

2: Inspire the next generation

Inspire prospective students with a quote about your time at Birmingham

Feature in our University recruitment materials and inspire prospective students

We want to hear what made you say “Yes!” to Birmingham. Was it the redbrick campus, course, student societies, the city, or something else? We’d like you to share your favourite thoughts of your course and the University with the next generation of Birmingham students.

We are always looking for quotes from alumni to include in our recruitment materials, prospectuses and website. Can you answer one or more of the following questions?

  • What did you enjoy about your course?
  • How did your studies prepare you for your future career?
  • What was your favourite thing about the University?

Please email your quotes to alumni-volunteers@contacts.bham.ac.uk with your contact details if you'd like to get involved.

Get involved with our social media campaign #wearebrumalum

Help inspire prospective students, raise awareness of Birmingham alumni success stories and tell us what you are doing now as a Birmingham graduate by contributing to our social media channels in the following ways:

  • Take a selfie doing your day job. You might be in court, working on a film set, training at an army barracks, campaigning for a political position or conducting an experiment. Whatever you get up to from 9-5 (or whenever you are at work), we want to see it.
  • Take a selfie at a place of interest in your home town/country to help raise awareness of our global alumni community 
  • Tell us about a professional achievement that you are proud of and would be happy to share with the rest of our alumni and student community
  • Tell us about what makes you proud to be a Birmingham graduate 
  • Don't forget to use the hashtag #wearebrumalum

3: Contribute to research

Birmingham 1,000 Elders - MDS alumni

Are you in good health, over the age of 65 and within one hour of the University? Would you like to make a contribution to Research within the University? If so we’d love to add you to our Birmingham 1,000 Elders group.

Our research varies from questionnaires to involvement in medical research including research into heart disease, infections in old age and falls. The involvement of the group has been crucial to the research activity of the University of Birmingham and in particular to the work carried out relating to older adults, and helps us to design, develop and delivery research that is directly relevant to your health and wellbeing.

For further information and to join the 1,000 Elders, please see our public involvement website.

4: Help alumni stay connected

Guild Of Graduates & Alumni Association (GGAA) Committee

Are you able to help with liaison between graduates, the alumni office and the University? Could you assist with planning Anniversary Reunion Days, organising events and processing at degree congregations?

For more information please contact the GGAA President.

Alumni Group Leaders

Alumni groups and societies exist all over the world, with new members always welcome to join. Become an Alumni Group Leader and connect with alumni in their local area or even country by organising gatherings and network opportunities throughout the year.

To see a full list of the current groups visit our international alumni page and if you would be interested in establishing a new group in your part of the country please contact alumnioffice@contacts.bham.ac.uk.